Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medical Ethics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Debate

The Nuremberg Code subverts human health and safety by requiring animal modeling

Ray Greek1*, Annalea Pippus1 and Lawrence A Hansen2

Author Affiliations

1 Americans For Medical Advancement, 2251 Refugio Rd, Goleta, CA 93117, USA

2 Department of Neurosciences and Pathology, University of California, San Diego, Mail Code 062, 9500 Gilman Drive (MTF 351), La Jolla, CA, 92093-0624, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Ethics 2012, 13:16  doi:10.1186/1472-6939-13-16

Published: 8 July 2012



The requirement that animals be used in research and testing in order to protect humans was formalized in the Nuremberg Code and subsequent national and international laws, codes, and declarations.


We review the history of these requirements and contrast what was known via science about animal models then with what is known now. We further analyze the predictive value of animal models when used as test subjects for human response to drugs and disease. We explore the use of animals for models in toxicity testing as an example of the problem with using animal models.


We conclude that the requirements for animal testing found in the Nuremberg Code were based on scientifically outdated principles, compromised by people with a vested interest in animal experimentation, serve no useful function, increase the cost of drug development, and prevent otherwise safe and efficacious drugs and therapies from being implemented.

Animal; Biological complexity; Ethics; Evolution; Law; Nuremberg code; Species variation